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Rehabilitation Programs Division

Volunteer Services Program

2018 Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Awards

Temple Man Receives Governor’s Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award

Photo of Award Winner(s) From left to right: TBCJ Chairman Dale Wainwright, James Johnson, Supreme Court Justice Jimmy Blacklock, and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier.

(AUSTIN) – James Johnson of Temple, Texas was presented the Nancy Hees Award during the Governor’s 2018 Criminal Justice Volunteer Service Award program today.

The award was presented by Texas Board of Criminal Justice Chairman Dale Wainwright and TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier during a ceremony held in Austin.

“Each of these award recipients has given countless hours of volunteer service within the TDCJ and we are extremely grateful for their efforts,” said director Collier. “They help to make a profound impact on the lives of thousands of offenders and, in doing so, make Texas safer. They are truly everyday heroes.”

Chairman Wainwright said, “These award recipients are giving of their time and gifts to help build better communities throughout Texas. We are extremely thankful for their volunteers we recognize with these awards. They selflessly serve others out of a sense of responsibility to their fellow Texans and to the offenders.”

The award is named in recognition of Nancy Hees who passed away in February 2005 after a courageous battle with cancer.  Nancy, a TDCJ employee at the time of her death, worked in the Parole Division admirably for more than 14 years. Her dynamic character and devotion to helping others positively influenced the lives of many parolees and their families. Her heartfelt compassion and generosity built a bridge of communication between parolees and the agency’s administration and established the Division’s Ombudsman’s Office as a reliable information resource for offender families. .

A former parolee, Mr. Johnson wanted to give back to society by volunteering to assist parole clients returning to the community. He began volunteering in 2011 and currently facilitates multiple Winner’s Circle groups each week at the Temple Parole Office. In 2017, he facilitated over a hundred group meetings affecting 1,721 parole clients. He has become a mentor to many of the clients and teaches them how they can be successful in their recovery and become a contributing citizen to society. Mr. Johnson said, “I believe if we can get clients to change the way that they think, they will change their actions, character and destiny, which is the ultimate goal.”

James Johnson is one of 14 individuals and 7 organizations from across the state recognized for their efforts to help inmates and those who are on parole or probation. They donate many hours of their personal time every year with the goal of changing the lives of convicted offenders, and aiding and comforting their victims.

In FY2017, there were 23,288 volunteers who provided a total of 395, 207 hours of service.

Note to media: For more information, contact Jeremy Desel, TDCJ Public Information Director, at 936-437-6052 or by e-mail at jeremy.desel@tdcj.texas.gov – For high resolution photos of award recipients, contact Jene Andersen at jene.andersen@tdcj.texas.gov.